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RS adjourned over TDP remark on Sonia

Telegu Desam leader C Ramachandraiah questions the capacity under which Sonia inaugurated a college in Andhra, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2006 17:40 IST

An uproar in the Rajya Sabha during the Zero Hour on Tuesday was sparked off after Telegu Desam leader C Ramachandraiah made a remark about UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

At about five minutes to 1 pm, Deputy chairman K Rahman Khan adjourned the House till 2 pm.

Raising the issue of a notice being given by the Union Health Minister that all packets of bidi must have skulls, bones, and a dead body printed on them, he said that all political parties in Andhra Pradesh were agitated on the issue.

They had made representations to the Union Health Minister, who replied that they should not politicise the issue, he added.

Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes, he said, had visited Andhra Pradesh and had spoken on the bidi issue, though it was not under his portfolio, and had assured that the notice will be changed as a representation had been made to Sonia Gandhi.

"Everyone in the country is looking towards Sonia Gandhi. She had gone to Andhra Pradesh recently and inaugurated a medical college there. In what capacity has she opened the college," he asked.

This led to a large number of Treasury Bench members to rise up and protest vociferously. Ramachandraiah said the House must establish whether a person with no constitutional authority can open a government college.

Repeated appeals by the deputy chairman were not heard as Opposition and Treasury Bench members continued their verbal wrangle creating such a din that nothing could be heard.

K Rahman Khan said the members seemed to be politicising the issue themselves and "none of you are interested in bidi workers."

"We have to take a decision on how Zero Hour has to be conducted," he said.

Earlier during the Zero Hour, CPM leader Brinda Karat raised the issue of the attack on a Dalit family and a daughter and a mother being paraded naked in Nagpur.

She alleged that the police arrested the protesting Dalits and not the perpetrators of the crime.

Members from many other parties associated themselves with the issue. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj called for immediate release of those arrested.

Condemning the incident, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachouri said that CBI had already started investigating the matter and on November 25 the government had also given notice for an unbiased inquiry into it so that perpetrators of the crime could be found and given serious punishment.

First Published: Nov 28, 2006 17:40 IST